BOSTON — Rays manager Joe Maddon saysit's no secret there's "pent-up emotions" between his team and the Red Sox. It goes back years, with the fire lit again Sunday when the benches cleared at the Trop.
Major League Baseball gets it, too. Crew chief Jeff Kellogg received word in a league report before Friday's series opener at Fenway Park:
"Heads up. … Be ready for something."
Boy was there.
After Rays ace David Price plunked David Ortiz in the back in the first inning, the first of two Sox he hit in Tampa Bay's 3-2 10-inning loss, plate umpire Dan Bellino issued a warning.
Postgame, the Red Sox slugger issued another warning, this one to the former Cy Young winner.
"That's means it's a war. It's on," Ortiz said.
"This guy that hit me better bring the gloves on. I have no respect for him no more."
There were four ejections Friday night, including Red Sox manager John Farrell and two of his coaches, as well as starter Brandon Workman, who threw high and behind Evan Longoria in the sixth. Benches, and the bullpens, cleared in the fourth after Mike Carp was hit in the right forearm, with mostly shoving and yelling, no punches.
"I wish he would have hit me," Longoria said. "So it could have been done and over right there. I just don't want to get hit in the head, just make sure it's down below the neck. Hopefully we're beyond it.
But it's likely not over — at least with Ortiz and Price.
Price said hitting Ortiz in the first, and Carp in the fourth, were not intentional.
"I've got to establish my fastball in," Price said. "I've got six lefties in that lineup. It's my favorite side of the plate to go to."
Kellogg said Price wasn't tossed because they didn't believe Carp's was either. But Farrell took issue with all four ejections on the Red Sox side.
"David's [Price] a heck of a pitcher," Farrell said. "He comes in with two hit batters and eight walks on the year. He's got the lowest walk-rate in the American League. And when he throws a ball and hits David Ortiz in the back, there is intent to that. And they can dispute that all they want, there is intent to that pitch. As emphatic as [umpire] Dan Bellino's warning was, it sure seemed like Dan Bellino felt like there was intent as well. I disagreed with it. He took the ball out of our hand and then after Mike Carp got hit with a ball up around his neck, and they didn't make a move then, the umpires allowed this game to escalate even further."
Said Maddon:"If you're part of the Red Sox nation you're appalled by our behavior, and if you're part of Rays nation, so what was the big deal?"
It was the first time Price faced Ortiz since criticizing the designated hitter for admiring too much the second of his two home runs in last year's American League Division series. Price said history didn't play a role.
Ortiz said Price actually called him in the offseason to apologize, which is why he was stunned to get hit Friday. Ortiz believes Price acted alone.
"You can't be acting like a little girl out there all the time," Ortiz said. "You give it up. That's an experience for the next time, but you gonna be acting like a little (expletive), every time you give it up, bounce back like that and put your teammates in jeopardy.
"I respect everybody in this league, and I get a certain respect from everybody. If you're mad because I take you deep twice, I'm gonna let you know. I got almost 500 homers in this league, that's part of the game son. "
A hit batter fittingly led to the winning Red Sox rally. Reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo hit Jonny Gomes with a changeup to start the 10th, then A.J. Pierzynski ripped a triple to left-center, off the tip of Wil Myers glove. Myers and Desmond Jennings collided, though both say they're okay.
"Hit in a perfect spot," Jennings said.
Said Myers: "It was the most interesting game I've ever been a part of."
When asked if it'll carry over until tonight, Price said "I'm sure it will."
Longoria hopes not.
With the Rays (23-32) falling further into last place, he wants the focus to remain on the field, where it counts.
"I'm right there with Papi in saying, "It's game on, whenever we go out there," Longoria said. "We're all fierce competitors.
"But at the end of the day it doesn't come down to who's more macho or who has more guts when it comes to going out and clearing the benches. We're out there fighting to get out of the cellar."
Joe Smith can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him at @TBTimes_JSmith.
Rays bench coach Torey Lovullo throws his cap while arguing with umpiring crew chief Jeff Kellogg after Mike Carp became the second Red Sox player of the game to be hit by a pitch by David Price. Lovullo was acting as manager after John Farrell was ejected for arguing over Price hitting David Ortiz in the first.